• Lillie Burke

Twitter: Where sharing goes overboard

It was the night before Valentine’s Day when all through the Twittersphere, all the single people were stirring – even Grumpy Cat.

All the chocolates were wrapped with pre-date jitters, in hopes that the day of affections would soon be through.

The girlfriends were all primping all day in their rooms, while the snazzy gowns waiting to be pressed lay on the bed.

Alright, enough of that.

So as you can tell, I made the mistake of clicking on the trending #OnValentinesillbe hashtag on Twitter the other night. And as many may guess, the results were filled with saddened and bitter singles. Very bitter singles.

Of course, there are the “twitterpated” couples that used this as an opportunity to share their magnificently romantic plans and the “Single Ladies” planning a girls’ night out on the town “cuz they don’t need a man.” But mostly, there were tweets about being forever alone and cats. Lots of cats.

Despite all of this, my real surprise was people’s willingness to share such intimate details on a public forum like Twitter.

Because of that, maybe telling everyone that you spent your evening crying over Nicholas Sparks movies while shoveling in Ben and Jerry’s and talking with your cat wasn’t such a grand idea.

While there’s nothing wrong with partaking in those actions, I just don’t comprehend why everyone else needs to know you are.

Social media may have started as a means to build community, but with all the oversharing, these venues of communication have quickly regressed into a rather public diary.

Somehow, social media went from “let’s stay connected” to “let’s share all the intimate details of daily life.” Even the ones that would be considered rude in public or so personal that they’re uncomfortable to read.

You would think it doesn’t matter what gets put out there.

Except it kind of does.

This stuff is searchable and permanent, guys. The Library of Congress has been storing tweets for quite some time and will continue to in the near future. So all those passive-aggressive comments, inside jokes and embarrassing confessions are a part of American history preserved for, well, ever.

Now, I’m not a social media hermit. I have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and possibly still a Myspace. I tweet about minor life happenstances. But the thought of willingly documenting every insignificant detail or disgruntled thought of my life sounds tedious and kind of boring.

Maybe, just once in awhile, we should all instead look up from our devices and enjoy the moment. Leave the crafting of the perfectly sarcastic remark to another time. Get some fresh air. Have conversations without constantly quoting people’s responses via Twitter.

You might be surprised. Life might actually be more fun outside of cyberspace.

And even if it isn’t, it still will have significantly fewer cat memes.

Autumn Allison, Vision managing editor, is a junior journalism major.

#AutumnAllison #autumnallisoncolumn #socialmedia #Twitter

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